BURNER the REVOLUTIONARIES issue
Lluís Barba, ‘Travellers in the time’ Golconde. René Magritte
the REVOLUTIONARIES issue My Own Private Atom Egoyan (or Canada’s Last Auteur)
Poetry by... Tara Aghdashloo, John W. Banner, Daydream, Terence Dew, Nicholas Hess, Ben Ladouceur, Scott Laudati, Jenny Love, Anthony Mason, John McCarthy, Paul e McCullough, Peter McNestry, Sam D. Church II, J.D. Mitchell-Lumsden, Arielle Nelson, Fraser Nelund, Leigh Philips, Madeline Phillips, James D. Quinton, Francis Raven, CS Reid, C.R. Resetarits, Dawn Schout, Timothy Snediker, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, Clinton Van Inman, Lauren Wells, Samuel Day Wharton, Aaron D. Wiegert
by Fab Filippo
Burner Does The Indies by Leah M Stephenson Fiction & Prose by... Victoria Hetherington, Will Johnson, Aisling Smith, Claude Smith, Thomas Sullivan, Michael K. White
How to be: Revolutionary by Nadja Sayej Photography & Visual Art by... Andrew Abbott, Lluis Barba, Jonahs Coel, Leanne Davies, Julia Forrest, CJ Hungerman, Nancy Ryan Keeling, Lindsey Lee, Charles Rammelkamp, Carla Rasmussen, Francis Raven, Jon Renzella, Julia Roven, Cheryl Stevens, Peter JR: Art + Action VanderGrient, Tamsen Wojtanowski by Leah M Stephenson
the REVOLUTIONARIES issue
cover art: Lluís Barba, ‘Travellers in the time’ - The Round of Prisoners, Van Gogh
dear burner babes, Revolution frequently means people overthrowing leaders due to oppression, dictatorship, neglect. Sometimes fuelled by ideology, often with self-interest by revolutionary leaders, as The Anatomy of Revolution taught me, revolutions usually end up with power voids, with strong men taking control and eliminating former corevolutionaries to establish their own terrorist rules. (Or, more recently, other country's leaders stage revolutions to establish control of resources.) Revolutions have sometimes been about intellectual and artistic re-birth. The Age of Enlightenment had Europe's thinkers and artists climbing out from the intellectual bog of the Dark Ages, challenging authorities with the truth and beauty of their work, with some, like Galileo, tortured as a result. Now, those of us who can read, write, think critically, vote, are able to go beyond overthrowing dictators or fearing torture, death. We can interface with our democratic systems and change them. We can create and disseminate art. We can practice meditation. We can make scientific discoveries. We can help others. We have so much potential. To me, what us humans need in order to unleash our potential power is love. Both love of self and empathic love for all. In order for our final r/evolution to be realizing world peace, we must: Ensure all of us can read, write, criticize, vote. Freely share love.
Leah Stephenson executive editor
Most would tell you that our generation - that is, of apathy, comfort, laziness and self-interest has proven itself to be the antithesis of conducive to the proliferation of the revolutionary. As Scott Laudati so funnily (and accurately) puts in his poem Lorriane (pg 55), us Gen-X'ers find ourselves in "an age where being dangerous is supporting gays and 'liking' France on your Facebook page"; an age where vomiting on your Chinese factory-made desk can be construed as some acting out of freedom...and, of course, an age wherein the most talked about 'revolutionary' we've seen yet is a 27 year old billionaire who wears flip-flops to work, having shed little (if any) of the more traditionally favored blood, sweat and tears - no matter what the hyper-dramatized, Sorkinscripted films might try to have us believe. I'm personally of the mind that 'most' are wrong but not completely so. It's both harder and easier than ever to be a revolutionary, perhaps because of the fact that it's easier than ever to make swift and significant choice (and certainly not in spite of it). An innocent search for the discography of some guilty pleasure pop song can easily turn into a Wikipedia black hole that you finally tailspin out of several clicks and hours later, leaving your brain feeling bloated and messy...and, sometimes, exquisitely empowered. As the artists in this issue of Burner demonstrate, it is and always has been important to stay on the empowered side of the fence. Just because we can take the easy way doesn't mean that we should. Learning, growing and - most importantly - doing will always be the cornerstones of revolution. So says Tara Aghdashloo's Tehran. So says Nicholas Hess' America (Reprise). And, if you still don't believe us, just go ask Marshall Zhang, who kicks apathy's ass...and yours too, probably.
Sarah Miniaci editor in chief
Lindsey Lee, ‘caitlin’
[for Allen Ginsberg]
by Nicholas Hess America I am probably God. I would like to see O'Reilly crucified and Fox News go to Hell. I also smoke marijuana and jam to the Dead. The specter of acid still affects your art. America don't be saccharine with me I do not want it. Most of us know what we're doing by now you know. You leave a taste like vomit. May I skip ahead in line to be tased? America why do these trees look like houses today? America somebody told me you're socialist they said it with a southern croon is it true? The schooling you provide sucks the teachers have sex with students but not me. America I think you could do better.
Donâ€™t look at me I didn't do anything. America my friend is gay my dad was gay Ginsberg was gay when will you come out of the closet? America you sound like victory bells on the aircraft carrier tolling. I heard you run on Adderall and beer. Why'd all your friends go home? America no same-sex marriage means no matrimony in the congress of still-born minds either okay? America I hope them communists all die too that's what my preacher would want. You keep pissing on your own shoes. You're looking a little blue be happy about it. America you freak don't hang out with me people can't know we're friends. Since when did Jesus take office?
Lindsey Lee, ‘lizzie flag’
America no really be quiet. America did you know your prescriptions get me high? I'd love to tuck you in if ever you learn to shut up. You wear too much makeup it makes me cough when we kiss cut it out. America lament them French a little more it's funny and it's they fault not yers. I saw Hilton on the news again does she have a story yet or is she VP? I'm lost in some suburb there's Why Is The Air Above My House Yellow Street and This House Looks Like That House Street and The Next Hummer Is A Coal Barge With Wheels Street and on the corner is What The Fuck Is A Garden Street. America your history book reads like a comic strip. I'd do more drugs if I had the money.
America can I be crazy too? America you make the Middle East look like Hell why don't we just nuke them sandniggers them kikes them them them them Mexicans them chinks them Japs them Brits and them commies especially so us pure white Americans can relax in God's country? A wall with cameras and guns and barbed wire would keep out them spics and books too they scary. I'm just kidding shove the books you don't burn up your ass they should fit. America Bush snorted coke Barack smoked pot and I eat mushrooms what’s in it for me? America the tired the poor the restless were caught knocking at your door I think they’re in jail now. No wonder you’re so devilish you’ve arrested all your saints! What gives? Because of you I’ve become enchanted by vacation suicide. America I am not Christian and neither are you. I won’t donate to charity need new TV. America if my poems don’t absolve me of your sins Please expunge me from your name I’d rather Be an invisible sphinx than a hissing whining cat.
Lluís Barba, ‘Travellers in the time’ The School of Athens, Rafael
Tehran by Tara Aghdashloo
I may never go back And cars Drunk with heat Ravaged by rain and beat and tired Driven from one street to a corner to a lot— They seem to breath I may never go back and sad – pause – sudden sadness sits on my hands My crippled multi-coloured fingernails "Not to be taken seriously," they said But colorful enough To be banned.
Tamsen Wojtanowski, ‘stupid fuck’
Julia Roven, ‘untitled’
by Victoria Hetherington
Later in the morning Irving calls me into his office. He closes the door, picks up a letter, and returns to his desk without once leaving his wheelie-chair, then steeples his small fingers and gives me an appraising look. He rolls over to a stack of receipts, gossamer-thin and six inches high, and curls my fingers around it. For three hours I tally four-hundred dollar dinners and two-minute cab rides, ignoring both Prisca, the other secretary, and the boy-wonder programmers as they test videogames and make tits out of paperclips. I bring Irving the final sum and he wheels over to take the receipts, then rubs my palm. ‘I make you nervous,’ he observes, then asks: ‘How many boyfriends have you had, Daisy?’ He wheels over to close the door, then rotates to face me. I look down at him, and he looks up at me. ‘Hundreds,’ I say at last.
‘I think you misunderstood me,’ he says. ‘You see, Prisca and I…we’re basically dating.’ I think in a flash about how she‘d tower over him, then wonder what they could possibly talk about, then wonder what ‘basically’ means. I trail Prisca to the bathroom, scrub my hands, watching her in the mirror. ‘Are you dating Irving?’ I ask, but maybe she can’t hear me over the water, because she doesn’t respond. She smells tangy with smoke and rub-on perfume, and squeezes her hair in her hands as she leaves. Irving is standing in front of the boy-wonder programmers when I get back, buttoning up his coat and knotting up his scarf and saying something that elicits a scattered cheer. ‘We‘re having a party tomorrow, to celebrate the release of the Smash Princess game,’ the lead illustrator, Seth, explains to me, and Irving glances over. ‘I’ve compiled a shopping list of party snacks and alcohol for you, Daisy,‘ he says, then turns back to the boy-wonders. ‘Booze!’ he says, eliciting one more cheer as they get up and drift out separately. I watch them leave, stacking and restacking my folders, then walk over to the giant screen. I’ve windexed the whole thing dozens of times - tight little circles, standing on a chair to reach the top - but I’ve never turned it on before. I flick the switch now. The screen glows brighter in some patches than in others, then a massive jungle shimmers into life. I pick a controller off the coffee table, and Smash Princess herself jerks into action, blinking huge eyes and flexing her biceps. I make her leap into a tree, then leap down, her skirt fluttering; I guide her through a river where she fights with an alligator, and I grind the controls and shout with exhilaration as she grips its pebbled back and rips it in half. She stands in the river as the alligator bleeds and melts into the molten water, straightening her back, and I see that she’s my height on the screen. Another alligator brushes her leg, and she roars. I drop the controller on the floor with a yelp, and Smash Princess dives dutifully into the water . No matter what I press, I can’t bring her back again. *** ‘You messed up, dude,’ Mark whispers. ‘Companies like yours are legally required to provide food at, you know, boozy gatherings.’ ‘No way,’ I say, slurping my wine. ‘Yes way! Hey, do you think the boy-wonders will play the new game with me?’ ‘Sh, don’t call them that here! Anyway, you should hope they don’t, they invented it,’ I tell him, poking him in the ribs, and he looks around the room, then says, ‘I guess I should’ve gone into engineering like these guys. Look at them; fresh out of school, a hundred-ten pounds each, ordering beautiful women around all day.’ He puts his empty beer bottle on the floor, then walks to the conference room to replace it.
‘Irving – that’s Irving, short guy in the kitchen – he says I’d be an exotic dancer in another life,’ Prisca says to someone, laughing a little into her plastic wineglass, rubbing a sequined shoulder with her free hand. ‘Not because I’m slutty or whatever, but because he knows how I am with people. You know: lots of people, that sort of connection, all easy. You know?’ ‘That’s fucked up,’ Seth says, and someone snorts. Prisca laughs again, her earrings jangling; the piercing light coming through the windows reminds me that it’s daytime, and that I’m drunk. ‘Me and the other illustrators are wondering if you‘d pose for us,’ Seth tells her. ‘We’re starting Smash Princess 2, and we’ve got this new bikinied revenge character. We need a tall, like, Amazonian woman for reference.’ ‘Maybe,’ she says, ‘but when?’ ‘I’ll have to get back to you,’ Seth says, taking out his iPhone and flicking through it importantly. Prisca stares at him for a moment, then grips the hem of her sequined dress, and yanks it up over her head. Her hands are veined and beautiful and her breasts look heavy, striped with the light coming through the blinds. I gawk at the freckles, the mottled nipples, the paleness and pinkness and brownness and blood vessels. I could stare for an hour. I’m red down to my neck. I understand the five dollars men forked over for Penthouse before the internet made porn cheap and grainy and free. I start prickling with sweat. ‘Do it now,’ she commands. ‘Whoa,’ Seth says, then recovers: ‘can you stand with one foot up on this chair, like a warrior? Perfect, hold on – I gotta get my pencils.’ ‘Irving and I were talking – are you really just nineteen, Daisy?’ Prisca asks me, scratching her elevated thigh. ‘It’s just, like, you seem so mature.’ I watch her pose, shivering in the chill of the too-bright office, feeling too sad to speak: she will never be on my side, and they will never be on hers.
Tamsen Wojtanowski, ‘crowbar’
Lluís Barba, ‘Travellers in the time’ The gleaners, Millet
letting you go This isn’t torture. Torture happens in small, dark rooms in countries with names you struggle to spell. This is just mildly unpleasant.
This isn’t loss. Loss happens on fields filled with poppies, in hospitals buzzing with flies, in distant deserts and late at night when there’s no good reason for the phone to ring. This is just longing.
This isn’t heroism. Heroism happens in churches that are also schools, performed by teachers with no names and no place to stay. This is just a good deed for the day.
This isn’t important. Important happens on bended knees and is breathed on last breaths with hands clutched tight, hearts tighter. This is just a distraction.
by Jenny Love
In one room I can hear in another a gun shot and the common grunt of being fired upon.
hearing the television by John McCarthy
From in here it sounds something like real life. From outside, it looks like blue light. All this perception Is just Cubism, right? Or do we silently live Underneath a hidden world of senses Waiting for unsure hallucinations?
Lluis Barba, â€˜Travellers in the timeâ€™ The parable of the blind, Pieter Brueghel
JR, ‘women are heroes’
JR Art + Action by Leah M. Stephenson
I knew I had to interview JR the moment I clicked on the link embedded in my sister’s email that led to an article about the French street artist. He had just been announced the 2011 TED Prize winner and his documentary, Women Are Heroes, was being released in France. Immense, intense women’s eyes pasted on the side of a Parisian bridge spanning the Seine struck me. The trailer of a documentary focusing on women survivors from around the world moved me deeply and personally. Having worked since youth alongside of my mother in her home country of the Philippines and since 2008 in Rwanda, to me Women Are Heroes spoke volumes. His photos reveal the soul and character of people, pasted larger than life in the heart of their communities. Working with paper and glue, JR’s artwork acknowledges the transience of our
material existence. His photographic and pasting processes engage communities in profound dialogue. JR’s art, by its very nature, breaks barriers. He is a revolutionary artist, his work an example of art in action.
For the 28 Millimetres series, you use camera lenses that require you to be inches from the subjects' faces. You photograph some of the most marginalized people around the world. You paste them, larger than life, either within their communities or within the communities of those who marginalize them. What do you consider important in the relationship between yourself, the subjects and the viewers? I used the 28 millimetre lens to work in trust with the people I photographed. They all come from places highly covered by the media. In those places, journalists often use long focal length lenses. I wanted to take a radical way of involving them in the art process by making them become actors of their own image. Each step of the project raises a different axis of my work: the portrait, the relation with the city and the architecture, the reaction of the viewers... What inspired your first project, Portrait of a Generation? When I did Portrait of a Generation I was already pasting in the streets for four years and I wanted to scale up my work to the architecture. This project was the first one in a community and I witnessed how the people were proud of being the actors of the project. The kids in the photos would stay everyday in front of these photos. Visitors could enter this tough neighborhood without any
problem as they were coming for an exhibition and not to observe how people live there! For Women are Heroes, you photographed and pasted immense images of women survivors from some of the most impoverished and oppressed communities in Brazil, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Monrovia and Cambodia. You also created a documentary. How does Women Are Heroes demonstrate the relationships between Art and Act? Women are Heroes started in 2007. Everything comes from a common interest: honor the lives of women, both vulnerable and strong. So I went to Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Sudan and Kenya, from where I brought back portraits of women made with my 28 millimeter lens. The idea of this project is to underline the dignity of these women, victims of conflicts. I wanted to share their stories by exhibiting at first the portraits in their home countries and then in the frame of spectacular exhibitions in several cities around the world. I then brought the project to Brazil, Cambodia and India and the work was exhibited in huge format in different cities of the world like Paris, on the riverbanks of the Seine River. I continued the Women are Heroes project by shooting a feature film made with images from the implementation of the pictures and the installations of these portraits of women in urban spaces, and the reactions of inhabitants. A film, a sum of images and speeches, a flow of lives and experiences to create, through art, another reality than the media one, which is the continuity of my work.
JR, ‘wrinkles of the city’
What did you learn from making Women Are Heroes? When you enter communities like the favelas in Brazil or the slums in Kenya, you discover another face, another energy based on the strength and the daily struggle. These women are the pillars of their communities. I realized that in all these places, people are proud of where they come from and what they have built. One of the essential things people want to change is the look we have on them, the image we have of them, or the one we have through the media. The question of self image is more and more important in our society, which is built everyday on images. In India, due to the illegality of what you were doing, you used sticky white paper to paste invisible images that were exposed once dust and other particles stuck to it. The looks of astonishment, joy and beauty as people reveal the women's images during the Festival of Colours are profound. Did you plan that? We went there specifically during this period as we knew there would be more dust in the street… so more revelation… A really important part of each installation is the context and the timing. In a world where anyone can do images, what is important to me is what you do with them and where you place them. Many of your projects are not authorized by the local authorities, but are community sanctioned. Have you ever been arrested for pasting? If so, what happened? If not, why do you think that is? I didn’t choose to work Illegally. It’s just the way I had to express my art. Working undercover is a way to achieve projects, not an objective by itself.
I did get arrested in a lot of countries and sometimes evicted, but even in the places when I am officially invited they still find it borderline. Art is the only expression I know that brings you into such paradox, like pasting illegally in China and exhibiting officially the same images in their official museum. What was the process for pasting the immense, building-sized photos for Wrinkles Of The City? Did you need authorization for these very large scale pastings? Most of the buildings were done illegally, but sometimes, when we meet an owner that agrees, we can put up scaffolding and do all the details of the building. Why did you decide to focus on our elders? The Wrinkles Of The City is a project based on the achievement of seniors. Portraits of them holding the memory of a city. I chose it for its past. In parallel, I also collected testimonials from these persons, witnesses of huge upheavals of the city. These portraits are then pasted in the city depending on locations that inspire me and that also represent the memory of the city and its history. For example, the Wrinkles Of The City project in China: Shanghai has a very rich history in the 20th century. The Japanese occupation in the 20’s, the development and opening to international countries in the 30’s, the creation of the Chinese Communist Party, the liberation of the city, the Second World War, surrender of foreign concessions, the new years of occupation, the victory of Mao Zedong over the troops of the general Tchang Kaï-Chek, the Cultural Revolution, the great leap, the era of the city’s excessive development, which we can see today.
Did winning the TED Prize inspire INSIDE OUT? Tell us more about your newest project. INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images are made into posters and sent back to the project’s cocreators for them to exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually. The first action made abroad was in Tunisia in March. It was called the Artocracy project. The idea of Artocracy was to display the portraits of 100 Tunisians, who were asked the same simple question about what they want for the future of their country. What are some of the long-term effects brought about by your projects? Changing our vision of the world… Is art related to revolution? Art is not always about revolution. But Art does have all the ingredients for it! You can cross almost any line you want with Art that you couldn't do in Society or Politics. You can cross borders, push limits… and, yes, sometimes this can be a revolution by itself.
For more information, visit JR on the web at www.jr-art.net
Tamsen Wojtanowski, ‘streetfighting knife’
(unincorporated) Aquilegia Caerulea by Francis Raven
“It is illegal to dig the plants or pick the flowers on public lands.”
(a) A ruthless passion is the mark therefore, not passion without regret.
Five purple petals, the flying tipped back creamily without question, the dove is peace embedded in the name, but they never incorporated around an idea. Therefore, the idea is unavailable to them. (b) Let the mystification begin via the media’s prowess for concocting a story: the media is the medium for mystification. You call them twins because they did the same things not because they felt the same we weren’t the same depression is a fog preventing counting: number of guns number of girls number dead.
(c) In the vacuum of why we all came rushing. The question is: could the boys be you? That is, rumor deflects our own possibility. The cockiness of no contingency. But if you’re right answer does not explode (for reasons that will never be exposed) that doesn’t mean it’s true; that doesn’t mean you’re right. Think of it not so much as a school shooting, but as a bombing gone wrong. Think of it. The detonation apparatus was incorrectly connected.
(d) But in all this talking about ourselves we never got much closer but for they were made to explain but someone needed to explain an explanation to him by him head borrowed pillar calculation.
Tamsen Wojtanowski, ‘e-jack’
skyline drive by Timothy Snediker
this girl keeps driving on her suspended license on the lookout for cops and Starbucks sometimes it seems like a kiss and some coffee will keep her going but there's a dry tongue in her mouth a cracked lip this town has us tying knots out of neurons the not so deep south opening at 11 for lunch and closing at 9 o'clock on the weekdays you can't get liquor here might as well drive on
address here by Fraser Nelund
To those who believe in tragedy, Life is the happy ending.
white collar crime by Sam D. Church II
White collar crime is being eradicated As “crime” continues to be redefined By those with white collars
storytelling by Jenny Love
Our little version of America don’t really mean shit to me. Sometimes I feel more than the city can hold.
Lindsey Lee, ‘sam’
for dirty realists & their girlfriends by Leigh Phillips And the sun it burns my skin off layers because I'm on some medication that says "Sit in the Dark and Live In Binghamton" on the label but because sun always makes me feel guilty for not appreciating it after living in Binghamton for 8 years I decided to go outside and let the boys have at me or actually the plan was to go to the cafe and grade papers but after surveying the sheer amount of work I have due in the next five days, I openly wept in front of several cheerful colleagues, walked to CVS for sunblock and behind me, a man idled his car drove slow and said 'what's your name' & I said 'what's the point' and I saw T. who said 'nice sundress' and you know, I think these men think so too, because the next man I saw called me a slut and he drove away pretty fast that was nice and some other man said I should smile and at that point, I decided to go back to my room and burn sage and sweat but then on the way home I thought about pizza at Nirchi's and how good that would make me feel about grading 46 research papers in five days, and some guy in Nirchi's said 'do you have a boyfriend' and I said 'I collect knives' and I went outside to wait for the new pizza, since the tray they had looked like what my face will look like in about 25 years of sun exposure so I sat on pavement, staring into traffic but the cars all became my papers only they had dirty mouths so I gave them C's and they called me a slut so I wrote "fuck you" in the margins of gum splattered concrete (I don't know why I'm such a slut, after all, it is only a sundress): oh no, my shoulder is getting redder my ears burn my back ten dollar SPF 70 and pills: I looked down and saw a feather. I was sitting next to a dead bird.
Lindsey Lee, ‘kelly’
My Own Private
Atom Egoyan or
Canada’s Last Auteur words and art by Fabrizio Filippo This is personal to me: In 1991, Maury Chaykin simultaneously creeps me out and makes me laugh in “The Adjuster”. To a kid from the suburbs whose favourite movie is “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” it feels weird that I could have these two reactions together. It’s troubling. The rest of my day is cast in a strange, murky, orange light. Everything I look at creeps me out in the same way the grainy, seventies ‘Sesame Street’ footage of the pie man falling down the stairs did when I was five.
Atom Egoyan’s choice for the location of this interview was a café and pastry shop called “Wagamama” west of Bathurst on King. Egoyan:
In the 80’s and 90’s there was a real revolution in the way people were using technology and I was using that language with my characters. I mean I was using the technology as I was experiencing it myself…
The tools I had to record this interview were an Audio-Technica Prosumer USB mic into an aging MacBook running Garage Band. It was a loud room. The sound quality was so bad I had to run the audio track through a noise reducer and compressor, and even then I had to strain to hear it (which I think is strangely fitting given how much Mr. Egoyan has made me work to wrap my head around his films). Egoyan:
…and that aspect of my work was praised by a lot of critics and I see why because there was a lot to write about. But that didn’t necessarily translate into people wanting to see my movies. I think my films, to a lot of people, became something that they felt they ‘should‘ see and nobody wants to do what they ‘should’ do.
I kind of wish I was a part of the era when the New Yorker was still the arbiter, you know, when people could agree that there was art and then there was pop.
It can’t exist anymore because we’re totally overwhelmed by making up our own sense of what the cultural fabric of our times is. The technology is shifting in such a way that there is no orthodoxy. There can’t be. The orthodoxy is the technology. And that’s… that’s just the way it is, you know.
It feels like it became okay to be stupid at some point, that now you can wear it with a badge of honour. I mean, I’m no genius but at least I feel bad about it.
I don’t know if people can grab the same mental real estate that auterism, for instance, was able to provide at one point.
If someone sends me a video file that’s more than two minutes in length I’m like, shit that’s long.
There was a moment after I said that during which Mr. Egoyan had a sort of genuine look of horror on his face. It was just a flash, but it ran deep. He masked it pretty quickly. He started to say something, stopped, then asked me if I was serious.
In 1994 I am turned on while watching Bruce Greenwood and Mia Kirshner together in “Exotica” even though I do not want to be. Mia Kirshner and I had taken an acting class together when we were sixteen and we had this innocent teenage flirtation. Part of me is appalled by how sexualized she is on that screen, and just by the sheer size of her head, the size of a house. I had never seen anyone I knew personally on a movie screen. Bruce Greenwood seems to dominate her. I want to punch him. But as the story unfolds, and by the time he reaches out to touch her, my heart breaks for him.
I’m very lucky, as I look back, that I got to make these films very quickly and without thinking about it, without considering this is what I should or shouldn’t be doing. And maybe that’s one of the more unfortunate things about success, is that you become really aware of that. I’m preoccupied now with the notion that I might not be making the best use of my time. After I made ‘Exotica’ I spent a year in Los Angeles working on this thriller that would end up never happening. I spent a whole year in meetings and ended up with nothing. The option on ‘The Sweet Hereafter’ was running out and I had promised Russell Banks (the novel’s author) I would make that movie so I finally left L.A. If I hadn’t done that, if I hadn’t left to make “The Sweet Hereafter” I could still be there.
How do I know Atom Egoyan is a revolutionary filmmaker? Because people fight about his movies. Moviegoers usually don’t end up in angry debates over mainstream film directors. Maybe because they’re often well hidden behind their movies and the guys I’m talking about, the auteurs, they put themselves out there. Auteurs are the faces of their films. I’ve never seen anyone get into a fight over a Taylor Hackford movie, for instance. I have, however, seen people argue vehemently over Atom Egoyan’s. I once had an agent that used to publicly rage against any new Egoyan release. There was a time Egoyan projects became -- for industry professionals -- a symbol for what was right or wrong with Canadian film. At the Toronto International Film Festival the year “Ararat” premiered, longtime-Egoyan-producer, Robert Lantos, introduced the film in a tone that seemed to tell the audience to go fuck itself if it didn’t like Atom Egoyan movies.
Do you feel pressure to be commercial?
As long as I stay within a certain budget range, I’m fine. It’s when I get into the big numbers, that’s when it seems I’m really constrained. I like having the ability do things they don’t tend to allow once a certain amount of money is on the table. To delay, for instance, decisions on particular elements, like the position of the camera, or how a character reacts to a certain piece of news. Sometimes I like to delay these decisions right up to the day of shooting, up to the very moment before I say action.
A signature of your films is the strange, mysterious or disturbing occurrence or relationship, and then the dissemination of information throughout the story that sheds light on this, and finally the moment when you discover the true meaning of what it was you saw.
Yeah. It’s become a cliché in my work. I’m rethinking all that.
“The Sweet Hereafter” is my favourite movie that I can never watch again. Because, now that I have a kid, I can never watch it again. My God, the extreme long shot of the school bus breaking through the ice. The thought of it alone makes me want to stop writing this paragraph.
There was a time, even ten years ago, that you could market a film on an auteur. But you can’t do that anymore. People don’t know what it means. Even cinematic terms that had become cliché, terms like ‘Bergman-esque’ – I don’t think anybody even knows what that means. I think to myself, thank God for France. Without them there would only be box office.
In 1990 I was seventeen. I had no lines in this Fringe Festival play called “2-2-Tango” directed by a guy I looked up to so intensely, I was afraid to talk to him. His name was Ken McDougall and he exposed me to a world of art and theatre and literature -- and I would dedicate the rest of my life to creating it. After a performance of 2-2-Tango I remember Ken pointing out a thin, unassuming guy with thick eyebrows waiting outside the Poor Alex Theatre. Ken asked me if I knew who that was and I didn’t. “That’s Atom Egoyan,” he said. “He’s a film director. He’s really good. Let’s go talk to him.” I doubt Mr. Egoyan remembers that moment. But I do. Vividly. I do, not only because Ken anointed him as “very good” and everything Ken told me was gospel, but because he was the first real film director I ever met.
Go fuck yourself if you don’t like Atom Egoyan movies.
Jon Renzella, â€˜The Great
from against what light by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux
Putinâ€˜s touting revenge Tens of thousands uproar in Cairo Little babe in her Hendrix blue drifts off to more peaceful lands left side soaked while waiting Giddy about MacAdams on UNO, a post to Duncan, roasted beets I imagine the smash of the television from three stories up It blinks Friends of the Urban Forest have planted a Southern Magnolia on the corner. I should write them a thank-you I should write another post to a friend
Jon Renzella, ‘La Pregunta Cubana’
Nancy Ryan Keeling, ‘flower power’
STUDENTS OF THE REVOLUTION by Claude Clayton Smith
I graduated from college in 1966 and
I had always wanted to teach high
the world turned topsy-turvy soon after.
school, and I wanted high school to be as I
Undergraduate life had been relatively
remembered it—conventional and fun. Yet
innocent. African-Americans were still
my career began with a controversy over
Negroes, hair was still short, and gays were
the dress code. I bet a colleague a dollar
still closeted homosexuals. Despite the
that our students would never be allowed
assassination of JFK, the Peace Corps lived
to wear shorts to class. But by the end of
on, and I planned to apply. There were no
the year they were wearing hot-pants,
drugs on campus. Nor were there girls. The
halters, and little else.
country’s elite schools were not yet co-ed. Then everything changed, virtually
The sweet odor of marijuana lingered in the stairwells. Pill-pushers worked the
overnight. The counter-culture spread east
student parking lot. Then Martin Luther King
from California. Flower children in tie-dyed
and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated.
tee shirts promised a world of peace and
Some of my students pitched tents in
love. Beads were in, bras were off. Or
Resurrection City on the Mall, not far from
burned like draft cards. “Costumes,” a
where King had delivered his “I have a
distinguished Yale professor told me in
dream” speech. Others marched with
graduate school in 1967, “these are but
Norman Mailer on the Pentagon. Still others
costumes.” He was wearing a gray
were hassled by police at the Democratic
pinstriped suit. But I didn’t know what to
National Convention in Chicago. Some
wear. It seemed that something was
even went to Woodstock.
drastically wrong. Young people sensed it but couldn’t
One student, after reading Walden in my class, left home for life on a hog farm.
articulate it. The Beatles sang about it,
The student who wrote the very best
abandoning their choirboy brightness for
poems went on to Yale, only to drop out to
“Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club
do social work in the streets of New Haven.
Band.” Following a master’s degree in New
My most intelligent student was among the
Haven, I was accepted into the Peace
first women admitted to Princeton, but she
Corps, but the island I would have gone to
left within a year to marry a paraplegic
after training was devastated by a
Jesus freak. The worst student of all, a quiet
hurricane. So I found myself teaching high
enigma, withdrew with a rifle into the
school English in a wealthy suburb of
roadside woods one afternoon and
Washington, D.C. The Vietnam War was
murdered the first jogger to come along,
escalating, but my draft board was
“just to see what it felt like.” Several
More students roamed the halls than
was suddenly an institution to be
went to class. Those who did show up
overthrown. They were only five or six years
zipped in on skateboards. Discipline was a
younger than I was, and I was supposed to
farce. Vans were “essential.” One student
teach them something. When we read
was working after school until midnight
John Updike’s “A & P” in class, they cheered
because he “needed a van.” Vans were
Sammy for quitting his job because the A &
little islands away from high school, away
P was the Establishment. Teachers, like
from home. Gaudily painted, dozens of
parents, were the Establishment too, and so
them were parked along the suburban
as soon as I turned twenty-seven and was
too old for the draft, I returned to graduate Many students were sold on the
school—to the Writers’ Workshop at the
“Revolution.” They expected singing and
University of Iowa—to write the Great
dancing in the streets, yet such
American Novel. Several of my best high
expectations were naive. One student was
school writers were already published.
going off to California to study marine
Then the War spilled into Cambodia,
biology, “to clean up all the polluted
students all over the country went on strike,
oceans.” But all he could talk about was
and the National Guard killed four students
the little house he was planning to build
at Kent State. In Iowa City picket lines
with his girlfriend. He had drawn up the
surrounded the classroom buildings. I cut
plans all by himself. The little house would
my own classes so as not to cross the picket
be close enough to the ocean so he could
lines, but continued to teach Freshman
go surfing. The last time I saw him, his arm
English in my apartment, to a handful of
was wrapped in bandages from wrist to
students who simply wanted their
elbow. High on drugs, he had put his fist
education. Besides, Freshman English was
through a plate-glass window, severing an
paying my bills.
artery and nearly losing his life. Meanwhile,
A few days later I sat in the middle of
one of my best creative writers initiated a
Clinton Street in Iowa City with several
lawsuit that yielded a landmark decision
thousand students, blocking traffic to
regarding the suppression of an
protest the War. It was the day before
underground student newspaper by high
Mother’s Day, and the only vehicle we let
through came from a florist shop. “Flower
I felt sorry for the more serious students, going off to college when college
power to all you mothers!” someone yelled.
Nancy Ryan Keeling, â€˜faceâ€™
That evening an old campus building, which just happened to house the offices of the GTAs, burned to the ground, and I lost most of what I had brought to Iowa. The following morning the university shut down for the semester and students were given twenty-four hours to get out of town. Campus officials had had enough. They declared the semester over, although final exams were yet to be taken, and announced a variety of policies for those worried about grades. Then they sent us home to our parents. Who didnâ€™t want us either.
Julia Roven, ‘untitled’
the magnetic dead by Aaron D. Wiegert
Itâ€™s said that civilization commenced around cemeteries the magnetic dead calling for shelter as the land was seeded the plot arranged with sticks, marked with stones of memory sleeping and birthing a village emerged as the coconut was cracked releasing a spirit, boiling blood inspiring new recipes but darkness was muted through the pounding of drums and weeklong dances around the fire up on the hill where men dressed in khaki carry shovels
whale by Ben Ladouceur
What we are missing could eat us alive if not for the jail bars that line its goofy mouth. What we are missing could power a house for a year with its oils. Could press the ribs of fifty women with its baleen. There is gorgeousness in the movement of our enormous missing thing. In how it heads north to birth one young and crosses a planet to bring that young home how it retreats during the moon season of the Arctic winter and nobody knows where to. Nothing about what we are missing is fathomable: lifespan, body, intellect, size of heart. It could be what we didn't know we didn't know. A route to God to forge.
Julia Roven, ‘untitled’
by Scott Laudati
I didn’t know she was drunk until, she threw up across her desk. they say “don’t write about love because it’s lame because it’s all been said before because by now, everyone knows it doesn’t exist.”
but this was it, the real thing all the burning and desires the smell of rhone the smell of rain she wretched back and forth (the fish tank lights of fluorescent classrooms found their subject) the rest of the class sat in front of their computers like rookies in a police academy obedient sipping cups of coffee for amphetamine psychosis becoming machines in hopes of not being replaced by them. like the scabs who cross picket lines, like the prisoner of war who builds bullets, getting a paycheck today to extinct tomorrow. but not her she is a rebel in a time when only pop music is cool, when the last revolution wasn’t televised but free wi-fied and in an age where being dangerous is supporting gays and ‘liking’ France on your Facebook page, sometimes all it takes is public vomiting to prove that you are still free
workers of the world unite by James D. Quinton
frankinstein by Clinton Van Inman
the revolution will not be televised but will probably, at some point, end up on you tube
Color coded complete with picture I.D. We’ll teach you to be like us. Give you a turtle neck or bow tie You will be our kind of Mensch Complete with certificate of authenticity Credit rating and charge account, Security, savings, and even disability. We’ll teach you how to walk and talk in circles as if you had some sense. We will give you some brand named shoes We’ll even call you Frank or Frankie We gave you a brain doesn’t matter Which for they all are just the same, But why are you still reaching for Flowers?
Andrew Abbott, ‘leeding’
Carla Rasmussen, ‘zenith’
metaphysical transformation by Anthony Mason
When the teacher asked this lithe and curious girl What she wanted to be when she grew up, Her reply; A Swan. And in her metamorphosis She sprouted wings from her arms Like the roots of leaves; Feathers replaced her gossamer dress And her neck grew long Into a pure white serif ‘S’ And for all that hybrid beauty She could not help but feel Sick at her grotesque form; Drowned as narcissus in his mirrors. Not quite Kafka’s black carapace horror Feeling trapped Like a butterfly in a child’s hands. Suffering and self destructing; The tips of its wings Brushing against his palms In a colourful seizure. . .
generation conspiracy by Madeline Phillips
JFK moonwalkers Area 51 Roswell and the deaths of Marilyn, Kurt, Michael
Conspiracy is a thing so rampant So we ask questions
We don’t believe in things like this There are no deaths from natural causes. There are murders; reported needle marks around the neck; prescription drug overdoses; possible foul play
Respect the right to reject authority We ask questions
Always a hidden agenda— Divert your eyes to the superstitions 40 years ago two men took one small step. But now Buzz throws punches when you ask him about his day on that floating rock— (slow motion is an age old effect)
Throw stones at talking heads Educate ourselves We want more because We are more
Julia Forrest, ‘seen’
I have an acquaintance who calls himself a scientist. He considers himself to be engaged in important research on human health, work that will improve the lives of millions of people. But in my opinion this man, Dr. Rick, is a heartless monster. Why do I think this? Because I’m staring at him right now through the bars of a cage. And he’s preparing another needle to stick into my shoulder. Which hurts like hell. As the saying goes, things look very different from the other end of the gun. This cage I’m in is maybe three feet wide and four feet tall. I can barely move around, let alone exercise. I’m alone in this empty pen and there’s absolutely nothing to do. If that sounds depressing and totally boring, that’s because it is. It’s also exactly the way Dr Rick wants it to be. He wants me to engage in only one activity – eating junk food and washing it down with sugary water, as often as I like. Which, given the dearth of activities in here, I did frequently up until a week ago. The result? I’m now twenty pounds heavier than a monkey should be and my hair is all matted and nasty feeling. I look and feel like complete crap. But I’m working on changing that. Dr Rick swings the door open and grabs my neck with a gloved hand. He pins me down on the metal floor and injects some fluid into my shoulder. Then he removes the needle and quickly yanks his hands out of the cage before re-locking the door. In a few days he’ll come back to draw some blood for testing. Dr Rick will then examine the results to see if the new diabetes medicine holds promise. At the
Simian Revolt by Thomas Sullivan end of the week he’ll get his big paycheck from the drug company and head home to his big, happy house in the suburbs, feeling contented about completing another successful week at work. But he won’t get that far, because I’ve got a little surprise in store for him. The thing I don’t get about this whole “scientific endeavor” is why I’m even involved. See, my involuntary role here is to emulate the eating and lifestyle habits of your average couch potato. But here’s the central question -- why mess with a creature that already knows how to eat and exercise? The smartest (and fairest) way to study this topic would be to give humans at fast-food chains a $500 gift card on the condition that they agree to become the test cases for the new diabetes drugs. Those folks are the problem, not me, so they should have some skin in the game. And then the “scientists” could film me swinging happily between trees as a way to show overeaters that exercise can be fun. It would be a winwin situation and I’d be more than happy to help out that way. But I’m no fool. I know that change isn’t going to just happen. I’m going to need to make it happen.
Cheryl Stevens & Peter VanderGrient, ‘space divided’
Cheryl Stevens & Peter VanderGrient, ‘cops and chaos’
**** A week later Dr Rick appears at my cage, holding a needle and a vial in his left hand. He reaches down with his right hand and opens the door. I shuffle backwards and press up against the cold metal wall of the cage. This is something I’ve never done before, assuming that resistance was futile. Dr Rick leans down with a wide-eyed, surprised look on his face and reaches into the cage. His hand is almost touching me when I whip my arms from behind my back and throw the poop into his eyes. It’s a perfect shot. Dr Rick screams and starts cursing. I dart past his arm and bolt through the opening. I drop four feet and land hard on all fours. I start running toward a metal table with my gut dragging along the cold tiled floor. I only cover ten feet before I’m breathing heavy, which is totally ridiculous for a simian. From behind I hear Dr Rick’s loud footfalls, so I know I have only one chance to pull this off. In the old days this approaching leap would be a piece of cake, but not now, after three months of junk food and zero exercise. But I was fully aware of this challenge, which is why I’ve been doing lunges and crunches at night during lights-out.
I accelerate across the room and launch into the air. My front legs land on the top of the table but my hind legs fall short. I dig my clipped-back nails into the metal surface, but the weight of my gut starts dragging me backwards. If I don’t make this I’m done. I’m completely screwed. But I refuse to go back to junk food and soda water. No way. Never again. I dig my front hands into the table and whip my backside forward. My body somersaults end over end across the table. I regain my footing, jump through the open window, and land on a bush. I tumble to the ground and start running for the woods. As I race across the lawn I hear Dr Rick screaming from the window. I pause for a quick moment to catch my breath and then start running again. I am so out of shape, but at this point I don’t really care how bad I look or feel. I’m just glad to be free. And when I get into the woods, the first thing I’m gonna do is contact my stillwild friends and start planning the revolution.
Lluís Barba, ‘Travellers in the time’ The Last Supper. Leonardo da Vinci
Jonahs Coel, â€˜hello earthâ€™
subject: hurricane panic video by Samuel Day Wharton
Click to see the palm trees fly. Check the box for charity. Check on your children, upstairs, as the storm surge swallows the breakwater. They're still sleeping. Fate is simple: whichever fronds of history you're unable to escape. Fix yourself a sandwich. Choke it down. You're so sick of terror it's not even scary any more. The shelter you've sought is mostly for show. With the rain driving horizontal, nothing could stay dry.
behind light, evidence, behind larger than life, inside life, in between compensations, counter movements, counter claims space expanding, but suspect it of sneaking elsewhere, dark matters unsettle, filling time, space, order, chaos, facile gravities
Just as you Open your Heart spills a Natural Calm that is your Anarchism: your Gift to Everyone.
Zen eating Zen walking Zen thinking Zen stopping Zen staring Zen something Zen breathing Zen mmming Zen Zenning Zen ing Zen zzz Zen en n ne neZ
Just imagine Where the Civil Rights Movement would be If the Montgomery Bus Boycott Was available As a Facebook application.
revolt 2: anarchists & sneaks by C.R. Resetarits
acrostic for john cage by JD Mitchell Lumsden
zen poem by Paul e McCullough
armchair activist by Sam D. Church II
HOW TO BE:
REVOLUTIONARY by Nadja Sayej
When Burner invited me to share my thoughts on how to be revolutionary, five pointers instantly came to mind. Drawing on my own experience as the host of ArtStars*, a web-TV show about the international art world, I can say being a shit disturber has its price. It’s not always easy. If you’re going to shake things up, keep these tipsters in mind. Here’s my take on how to raise the right kind of hell.
1. DON’T GIVE A DAMN WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK ABOUT YOU A common problem I’ve come across with my web-TV show is camera men – they’re hard to find, harder to keep. Strangely, though, I’m friends with a ton of artists who love working in video. Some are afraid to tarnish their reputation by working with me. But if you want to make a difference, you have to be fearless. My favorite aunt once told me: “People can say what they want about me, but I know who I really am.” 2. DON’T HOLD BACK When I covered the Preview Berlin art fair for episode 48 in October 2010, I was asking all the right questions. How do I know they were right? They scared me. I arrived at the fair expecting this big Berlin experience and was a little underwhelmed. So I asked one artist, “Where’s the party?” He continued to explain that this was the party before asking me a question that has become the classic ArtStars* quote: “Who are you and why are you doing this?” It was the perfect exchange of us both not holding back. You’d never typically see an interview like that in the art world, ever. We’re breaking new ground. And I’m grateful for the adversity. 3. BREAK THE RULES For episode 50, I covered the Carsten Holler show at the Hamburger Bahnhof – a museum hotel where visitors could stay overnight for 1,000€. I stood up during the press conference and asked the artist and museum director why people had to pay so much. They asked if I could understand German, and when I said no, they answered my question in German anyway. They also refused my request for an interview with the artist. Still, we hit the opening, got the answers from the public and managed to keep it real as we do in all episodes of ArtStars*. They couldn’t stop us, basically, even though they tried to.
4. BE PREPARED FOR CONTROVERSY For episode 54, I covered the Cyprien Gaillard beer pyramid at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art. We uploaded the video on April 7, 2011 and by April 14 the gallery who represents Gaillard sent their intern to email me asking we take the video down. Their premise – that he didn’t sign a release form. I thought about it for a few days, and then questioned their actions in social media outlets and got a roaring support from the media – even New York art critic Jerry Saltz. Since we’ve decided to keep the video up, we have more fans than before. Sometimes being the martyr of an argument, even someone willing to start it, will make you memorable – not being the stand-back wallflower who agrees with everything just to keep the peace. Get in the fight or go home.
5. DON’T GIVE UP THE FIGHT Let’s say you have a dream – live it. But what happens when you’re met with opposition? Does that mean you’re not meant to do this? That it’s too difficult? That you should be doing something else? Quite the opposite is true. If you’re not met with opposition, chances are, you’re not making a difference. Whenever I’m met with opposition, I know I’m headed in the right direction, and the harder things get, the stronger I become and the stronger my voice and vision of the show rings on. Nothing can stop me. And trust me, you’ll get your break. Just keep giving, following your vision and voice and it will be brought to you. It was Chinese artist Ai Weiwei who once said: “I always remember my father saying before he passed away, ‘This is your country. You don’t have to be so polite. You can do whatever you want to.’ So I had to adapt.”
Charles Rammelkamp, ‘gorby 1’
coffee and the news by Tara Aghdashloo
And because everything was political The politics of how many rings before I pick up How many goodbyes before a hang up The intricate act of interruption Of smiling back at strangers walking by And the politics, sometimes, of sexual intercourse: Easily evaded And of the time we were lost Easily diluted, like sugar and water The politics of ink-pens and yellow-papers Waltzing between meanings and intonations The handling of a knife and choosing wine Of discreet discriminations between articles to dissect It was all political all of it all It was politically gray and correctly gay and I thought:
-I don't know how to change my Canadian tiresEnding a song was the most delicate And yet was never political enough.
i moved to avoid him by Ben Ladouceur
found poem from Japanese anti-smoking ads i. The cool cowboy flicks his cigarette butt into the street. But he lives in an old movie. ii. It's scary to see a flaming object thrown from a car window. iii. In summertime, the arms that pass near my lit cigarette are bare. iv. A man waiting on a girl, cigarette butts piled up around him. v. Would you stick a cigarette butt in the snowman that your child built? vi. I moved to avoid him. But my smoke didn't.
Jonahs Coel, ‘until we have voices’
Leanne Davies, ‘fox and captain’s bed’
no shirt o’clock
Every Saturday is a party like this. The houses change but the crowd doesn’t. There are theme parties and there are costume parties and there are keg parties. Sometimes there’s a yard, other times just a balcony. No one is ever older than thirty. No one is younger than twenty. I’m a little too close to the speakers. My head feels batted around like a cat toy. I’m on my fifth double when people start taking off their shirts. Some girl hip checks me on the way to the kitchen and I slosh my drink on myself. “You’re still wearing your shirt,” she yells. She is lean and small and dark, like Pakistani maybe. Or Indian. She has mean looking eyes and a wash of black hair surrounding her sharp face. She’s wearing a hefty white bra that hangs a little loose on her tits. “It’s no shirt o’clock, you have to lose the shirt,” she says. She starts unbuttoning me. “What is this?” “Lemon rum,” I say. “You know you’re a pussy?” She yanks my shirt open, tears off the bottom buttons. “Lemon rum? Who drinks lemon rum?” “I’m Scott.” “Taj,” she says. “You want a real drink?” She leads me by the hand on to the back patio, climbs on to the railing, and retrieves a brown paper bag from on top of the corrugated roof. It’s cold outside and I’m still not sure why I’m not wearing my shirt. She pulls out a bottle of
Jack Daniels, unscrews the top and takes a long slug. She coughs into her elbow and passes it to me. “Cheers,” I say. The way she’s sitting on the railing, her legs open and arms to her sides, her bra hangs down and I can see the shadows of her dark nipples. She catches me looking. “You’re a fucking perv, huh?” she says. “What are you even doing here? I don’t know you at all.” I’m not used to whiskey, and it sours in my stomach. I burp into my fist, turn away from her and blink my eyes until things start to make sense again. She laughs and wraps her arm around my stomach, rests her face on my chest. “What, you don’t like Jack?” she asks. We stand in the smoky corner of the patio and talk. She leaves her arms wrapped around me, her slippery chest pressed against my stomach. Her weight is throwing me off balance. The night is foggy. The mist mingles with the hanging cigarette smoke and drifts towards the silhouetted trees in the distance. Turns out Taj is short for Taija, and she’s a business administration student. I tell her I dropped out but I’m planning to go back after I do some traveling. She smiles because she hears this all the time. She smiles because almost everybody here is about to go traveling, or about to go to school, about to do something significant with their lives. “What’s the saddest thing that ever happened to you?” she asks.
“My Mom died when I was, like, six.” She’s quiet for a moment, then she pushes up on her tippy toes and kisses me. She holds her hand against my neck, just behind my ear and pulls me down towards her. “I’m sorry,” she whispers. “It’s all good,” I say. She asks me to dance, then drags me inside without waiting for an answer. She’s slinky and energetic, likes to grind her ass up against me while she runs her fingers through her hair. She closes her eyes. I’m holding the bottle of Jack Daniels, and when she takes a drink some dribbles on to her chest. She rubs it into her brown skin. “You like that, perv?” After a while I’m dizzy and I try to excuse myself but she follows me into the bathroom. She sits on the counter watching me piss. She checks her make up, puts on some lip gloss. “I like you, Scott,” she says. We head to the front steps to smoke some pot she’s got in her purse. I grab my leather jacket from the front hallway and wrap it around her. Right before we go out the door, she turns and bites at my nipple. She barks at me like a small dog. Then she laughs. “You know what I don’t get?” she asks. “If there’s like a gazillion people
around the world all the time, and everyone wants to be with somebody, how come so many people are alone?” I take a long toke, then unleash into a coughing and hacking fit. She giggles and rubs my back while I double over. “ E ve r yo n e s h o u l d j u s t l ove everybody all the time, you know?” she says. She carefully inhales from the joint and taps the ashes into the bushes by the front steps. “Like, just be nice to everyone and love everyone and everything should just be good with like, people dancing and doing shit and fuck, I’m stoned. Are you stoned?” I nod, run my index finger along my tongue. It’s dry. I feel like I can’t open my eyes. “If I didn’t grab you, you wouldn’t even know me. You know? You could live your whole life without even knowing who I am. Without even knowing there’s this girl Taija and I wouldn’t know you and you wouldn’t give me your jacket and we wouldn’t be here. You know?” I’m a little cold, but it’s nice out. We look out at the streetlights together and she lays down in my lap. ***
by Will Johnson
Leanne Davies, ‘red shag carpet’
Lindsey Lee, ‘fighting for peace’
strung out on sunset by Peter McNestry
incisors by Dawn Schout
Whoever said saints have to be clean If you walked down the boulevard Youâ€™d see electric angels mending broken dreams And girls with tombstone eyes Linked with balding bonds bail men Writing a suicide pact in a diner at night Whoever said god is in the house All I see are roaches and a tiny little mouse But the spirits wrote my destiny in the stars I was knighted on the boulevard And baptized in the bars Strung out and saintly on the boulevard tonight My soul bleeds over Los Angeles and the starry city lights.
I smash cherry tomatoes, perfect outside but grotesque inside, against white walls, using more force with each throw. Destruction. Chaos. This is art. Never know what the results will be. Breaking is how I create, how I feed, how I live. The wall oozes, bubbled. Globs of skin, each with a shine they steal, slide to the floor. I listen to songs to keep out the noise in my head, my thoughts red, poisonous, yellow seeds lodged in my teeth.
Tamsen Wojtanowski, ‘vaseline’
Julia Forrest, ‘nuns in an alley’
a poem of protest or prayer by John W. Banner We wonâ€™t stand for inaccurate sunlight, anymore. Nor will we watch motes incorrectly cross those beams. Is this not an age of gilded things? Have we not raped and smelted and sung enough for you? All that we want is to be left unmolested (no, unfucked) in sleep and also in dreams. And to wake in the lightâ€“ to wake into 24 karat light.
replica for you by Samuel Day Wharton is not just a matter of a thing cloning another thing. Nor your sublimation just fodder for the policewomen's chatter. You are replican or you are replican't. Decide. To do nothing would be a cruelty your doubles might never digest. When dispatch is good & ready, they'll offer to help with your jonesing. Or your stoning. & when the food is ready, you'll be the gopher they try their poisons on.
Francis Raven, ‘stick up’
A Singer Must Die For the Truth In His Voice
by Aisling Smith
You’ve read this story before. Been transfixed by it on a flickering cinema screen. Even fantasised a little about it one day being you. Admit it. (I’ll never believe you don’t own a copy of a Stieg Larsson or Baroness Orczy book). There’s an organisation and a man at its forefront, acting with a vision of what the world could be. Except, as it turns out, Orwell was right all along—the truth teller becomes a revolutionary. And we always make our revolutionaries pay a price. Over four years, the organisation has released a huge variety of information. But this time they are shining light on the order we take for granted, and some people like living in the dark.
The man has a lot of information to share— a tempest of knowledge which will whirl through the world and shake things up. There’s footage of military action in Iraq, where civilians and journalists are killed, children left bloodied. Images of innocence betrayed. He also releases a cache of cables, revealing the dishonesty which so often masquerades as diplomacy in a world of courtier-politicians. The power of the group’s message is hypnotic. Danger and harassment are part of their lives now, but their troubles are rewarded with growing support. There is a deep rumble as the organisation picks up momentum and people turn to listen at the sound. Everyone wants to be part of the audience, to applaud them onwards. And he, too, is a beguiling figure. Those who have met him always seem to agree that he’s fiercely intelligent and passionate about his work. His image is everywhere now, a tall man with an iconic shock of white hair. He’s striking. Compelling. He has the sort of bravery we admire. It tugs at that echoing tendency within us, well suppressed under layers of skin and timidity. One by one, as the months pass, people leap to their feet— until everyone is standing in ovation before him. But the December newspapers change everything. You read them and feel a dirtiness which goes beyond the ink smudged across your fingertips. Look what they’re doing to him. The giant has become aware of his presence—a threat to be punished.
He’s imprisoned in England, then released on exorbitant bail. The possibility of extradition to both Sweden and the United States looms. People shake their heads unhappily: “I knew this would happen. They were always out to make him fall, it was inevitable.” But these predictions have not dampened the outrage which is seething at the injustice. People fold their papers and leave their seats, invigorated to action. Petitions are penned, money donated. What’s the point of going to sit in Strawberry Fields to imagine peace and liberty, wearing Che Guevara’s face across our chests or having Phil Ochs on the iPod if our lives don’t back it up? Those who are young enough or old enough to know what matters brave the Melbourne rain to rally. They take to the streets in Sydney. Same in Vancouver. In Seattle, London and Vienna. Everywhere. Although there is a tidal wave of popular support, the media is more ambivalent. Not all outlets are supportive. The adjectives accompanying his name in the newspapers are upgraded or downgraded each week, perhaps depending on which way the legal wind is blowing: “He’s weird!” > “He’s eccentric!” > “He’s different!” > “He’s unique!” > “He’s a genius!” Can the newspapers afford to be magnanimous? After all, they certainly don’t want to get embroiled in his legal troubles. Perhaps it would be safer to distance themselves with a withering editorial or a kiss and tell book release. Can’t be too careful. Wouldn’t want to show anything as repugnant as courage.
Many politicians are seething. In North America, the Vice President is being interviewed. He looks stately in his suit, with light falling across his face. The cameras are sure to catch the bookshelf behind him, a subliminal suggestion of authoritative wisdom. It’s a charming picture until you listen to the words. They are vitriol. A high tech terrorist is the phrase he uses to describe an innocent man—someone whose only crime is to speak the truth. In Australia, the Prime Minister obfuscates and muddles her facts on the subject. She is quite keen to ignore the Australian citizen in terrible legal trouble overseas. Yet she’s cringingly eager to be photographed with her arm around the famous US talk show host who is on an antipodean visit. It turns out that the Mighty Ship of State was a battleship all along—and it’s out to get the man who revealed the cracks in its hull. Consign him to safe sterility because hegemony and silence must be preserved at all costs. Detain, displace, disgrace, deface. So what if truth is swathed in bandages, cowering from the sunlight, or if free speech takes a knife in the fifth intercostal space.
So he is brought to a courtroom. Ostensibly it’s for a different matter, but it’s not quite so simply divisible. The strands of a spider’s web are sticky and netted together. Inside Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court the judge gives his ruling: the man inside is to be extradited to Sweden (never mind the risk to his human rights). He is described as listening in expressionless silence. A short while later, however, his frustration is clear as he speaks from a podium. He doesn’t need to point out the injustice because it’s all too clear. None of this would be out of place in a literary dystopia. The witch hunt of a journalist is certainly a sashay in that direction. Maybe the governments involved in this travesty-tragedy are just trying to provide a little inspiration for budding Orwells and Koestlers. How altruistic. A cell, a possible charge of espionage, incitements to violence—the crude revenge of the exposed bully. And so we approach a precipice. But he shouldn’t worry. We wouldn’t let them do anything like that to him . . . would we?
Francis Raven, ‘a crime, a grid’
robot nanny by Arielle Nelson
tame those kids, get your metal claws right in there and show them who’s boss. I want a real nice machine sleek lines and a sweet behind who can cook a mean chicken kiev. No Jetson’s Rosie with her bread box head a little tipsy under pressure. It’s got to hang onto slippery children in the park, a never-ending swing-pushing engine, dispenser of grape juice, band-aids, mild sedatives when needed, tuck in the kiddies at night, watch it all through electric eyes, eyes glowing in the dark, nightlights always watching. You’re always safe with robot nanny.
message in a bottle by Daydream
I dream of Jeannie stuck in her bottle, bored in maroon chiffon pants, perfect blonde bouncy ponytails in a wish lamp rubbed smooth by the Major who dreamed a fortune of wishes that never quite came true Those two could’ve taken on the Captain sunk his ego trip & ruled, de facto
Cheryl Stevens & Peter VanderGrient, ‘share your data day’
stalwart by CS Reid
if the revolution were televised by Sam D. Church II Andrew Abbott, â€˜pray to the harmburgerâ€™
(Sojourner Truth, Ohio Women’s Rights Convention, Akron, OH, 1851)
Broad, angular shoulders balance her athletic frame: agile and leopard-like. A voice − thunderous alto− recants the daily indignities of servitude; a crude existence not of one’s own. The methodical tapestry the mind must compose— weaving in preparation to unweave— to endure the omnipresent drudgery. Maladies of the trade: a twisted hand & curved spine. Breasts sag like elongated teats— milk-heavy— hanging erect. Undoing her pinafore, cups one breast, decrying her sex to the heckler below.
If the revolution were televised, It would be pay-per-view And you probably couldn’t afford it. Instead, you would get a play-by-play Edited by the mainstream media moguls. And we would lose. So you may as well change the channel.
CJ Hungerman, ‘random robot RAIDS’
February 1964 by Michael K. White
New York, New York (An Excerpt from CHANGE, where a 1963D Quarter is followed for 100 years)
The winter drizzle left the streets shiny like in movies and this night Manhattan looked like it should look, vibrant, clean and sparkling. It was evening, just after dusk and outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre on Broadway a crowd restlessly churned like wheat on a windy day. "Are they already in there? Did you see them drive in? Are they there in this building? Just these walls away?" A tiny girl beseeched Myra Centingal, her face twisted and desperate. Myra had no answer. She had heard from some other girls that a black Cadillac limousine had indeed pulled into the service entrance behind the alley of the theatre but she didn't want to say anything. This was her first trip into the city from Queens, where she lived in a brownstone walk up with her parents. Myra had told her parents that she was going to her friend Joyce Johnson's house to study for a history test. It was about the Jamestown colony and the early days of the settlement there. She told her mother that she and Joyce were doing a presentation on the Lost Colony of Roanoke. She had lied. Myra was not used to lying to her parents. Indeed this was the very first time, but she couldn't help it. She knew they would not allow her to come into New York on a Sunday night. They didn't understand. They could never understand. They did not know that everything was different now. Everything. When her mother first heard the music on the radio she had tisked and right away she had started to criticize it. "If they're so English how come they sing in American accents?" She had accused. Myra's father had said even less. He didnâ€™t care about music at all. It was all just noise to him. He only knew two songs. One was "The Ballad Of Ira Hays" and the other was not. The only record album he owned was a solemn record of Douglas MacArthur's farewell speech to Congress which always made her giggle because it was so corny. Myra had collected her babysitting money, fifteen dollars and some change, and rode the subway into the city. She felt like Dorothy coming into Oz. She had never done anything like this before. She didn't even have a ticket to the show. Just being there was enough. She understood what the tiny girl had meant when she had said, "Just these walls away?" Myra felt that she was a part of something important. The police were putting up barricades around the theatre now. Several of them were astride horses that clip clopped on the hard pavement of Broadway. The crowd had grown bigger and the drizzle seemed to vanish in a haze until the evening turned cold, crisp and sharp. Myra clutched a Quarter in her hand, just in case she needed it to call home. She had run out of nickels after treating herself to a dinner at the Automat. There you put nickels into slots and slid open a tiny glass door that held whatever it was you wanted to eat, from roast beef with gravy to apple cake. She had gotten a cheese sandwich and tomato soup but she hardly ate at all. She was way too excited. It was like a dream.
In the past month she had collected every picture of them she could. Her mother disapproved, but Myra didn't care anymore. She didn't care about anything except the Beatles. They had become her whole life and it seemed like it happened over night. She knew that at fourteen she was way too old to be crushing on singers, but she couldn't help it. They were complete strangers in every way but a deep throb inside told her that she knew them. When she had first heard them on the radio ("That boy/ took my love away...") it spoke to something deep inside of her. Not necessarily a feeling as much as an urge. An urge to scream. "Here ya trowe dese at 'em. Dey like it in Engal land." A fat girl with braces and pimples thrust a handful of warm slimy jelly beans into Myra's hand and moved off through the crowd repeating the mantra to every girl in her path. "Dey like it in Engal land.." Myra opened her hand and looked at the jelly beans, sodden from sweat, sticky and fragrant and leaving brightly colored stains on the inside of her palm smearing the shiny Quarter she clutched. Suddenly a man was standing before her with thick black glasses. He was frowning down at her. "You," he said as a quickening, cascading twirl of girls started to surround him like a funnel cloud. "You. You. Over there. You and you." He said to a few other girls who were stamping and pawing the pavement with their feet. He jerked his head to the side indicating that the chosen should follow him and they did, the rest of the girls wailing and protesting, boiling and churning. Myra and the others mutely followed the man right into the front of the Ed Sullivan Theatre. The woman at the box office nodded to the man and allowed them to pass amid the buzzing furious crowd of older people in suits and dresses, smoking and coughing and chit chatting like it was any other regular day. Myra was annoyed. Didn't they know? One of the girls was talking, asking the man a million questions in a strained voice but he kept walking as if not hearing her. He led them into the auditorium itself, surprisingly smaller than it seemed on TV. Myra could see the stage with its closed curtain and the two huge cameras mounted on wheeled dollies. She saw the monitors that ringed the stage and just as it hit her where she was she realized that the man had led them to the front row. "Stay here if you know what's good for you." He said in a cloud of ash and cigarette smoke that smelled like her grandma's bedroom. They obeyed, because they knew what was happening. She could feel it behind her breastbone and in the pit of her stomach. "Oh my God," one of the girls said with wild eyes and shaking hands to Myra, clutching at her. "Oh my God!" The rest of the audience filed in fairly quickly. There were many more girls but a lot of older people too. The stage got busier too, with headphoned technicians walking back and forth. The murmur of the audience was now like the ocean and everyone jumped when a sharp CRACK of a drum behind the curtain went off like a shot. There were nervous scattered titters. Myra wondered if they were already there, behind the curtain, waiting. She wondered if that was Ringo testing his snare drum. It could be. It could be. She was having trouble swallowing now. Suddenly the room changed. The energy level increased and time and space seemed to shrink. The lights changed, grew brighter and music blared. She could see the titles on the TV monitor right above her and she looked down into her hand and looked at the squished mess of the jelly beans and her Quarter and her multi colored hand. Suddenly there he was, the man himself, Ed Sullivan standing right in front of her talking about the Beatles. He was wearing a gray suit and was much taller in person. She was telling herself in her mind that hey there was Ed Sullivan right there when suddenly he waved his arm and shouted ".....the Beatles!"
a gray suit and was much taller in person. She was telling herself in her mind that hey there was Ed Sullivan right there when suddenly he waved his arm and shouted ".....the Beatles!" And Myra shrieked. The keening was a physical thing, a blast as the curtain rose quickly and there they were. The Beatles. Paul, who was already sweating, counted fast and began singing "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you/ Tomorrow I'll miss you.." She was so close that Myra could hear his voice as it went into the microphone. She was so close she could see George's pimples. She was so close that John looked right at her. RIGHT AT HER. He laughed when she screamed. She was so close she could feel the thud of Ringo's drums in her chest, like an extra heart. Myra was surprised to discover herself screaming, shrieking herself hoarse, tears running down her face, her throat a hard lump. The music came back at them but it was not as powerful. All around her Girls were crying, pleading, reaching with out stretched hands. Myra could see Ed Sullivan off to the side, talking out of the corner of his mouth to a woman and smiling a sly snaky smile at the stage. Myra realized she was being pelted with something; people from the back were throwing things. A yellow jelly bean hit her in the face when she turned to see what it was. It stung and she remembered her own jelly beans and flung them at the stage as hard as she could, her face contorted with such emotion it hardly seemed to be real. All she could see was the Beatles singing their song, her life changing right before her. She did not know that the cameras had caught her in that moment of throwing her jelly beans and had broadcast her streaked and stricken face into millions of homes, including her own, where her shocked parents watched in amazement at their sweet little daughter's utter and irrevocable transformation. She did not know that the cameras had caught her in that moment of throwing her jelly beans and had recorded for history the greatest moment of her entire life. Ringo was tapping away at his drums trying to get his mind around the fact that they were in America! And they were just as daft as England when he was volleyed by flying jelly beans. He kept smiling even though he hated the fooking jelly babies because they fooking hurt you when they hit you in the fooking face. Something harder than a jellybean hit him in the face now and he got mad but he didn't know if he was on camera or not she he kept smiling. Glancing down, he saw the object bouncing on his snare drum. It was an American coin. Ringo saw that it had some old lady engraved on it. He didn't know American money very well yet. Oh well, he thought, watching the Quarter dance on his snare drum. At least they're throwing money now. ***
CJ Hungerman, ‘invasion of the body bots’
Mr. Bernard’s Sanity Clinic for Fucked Up Individuals by Lauren L Wells Your family loves you, but hates your sins— so they send you off to get help. Here, we’ll teach you the proper, sober way to get laid and make an ass out of yourself. We have all sorts of specialists to rid you of your flaws— but you’re not flawed, you’re just interesting. You’re here to get better, but better is boring and all you want is another drink to colorize these white walls, to liven up all the doctors, the lawyers, the mothers and fathers— another drink to spice up these sterile, fleshless bodies labeled PATIENTS. The nurse in charge of administering the daily meds says there’s some hope for you but none for them, as she gestures to the others— their skeletons sitting, naked. You let a smile fade across the linoleum way and sink to the bottom of your glass, when you realize you’re naked too.
Julia Forrest, ‘reverse’
BURNER DOES THE
WORDS BY LEAH M STEPHENSON PHOTOS BY JIM MORRISON IV
Burner attended The Indies, the annual independent music awards concert and Canadian Music Week closing party, to seek out its most revolutionary artists. We interviewed Shad, who that night would win the Favourite Urban Artist award and, later this year, a Juno (the Canadian Grammy). Mike P, the radical drummer for Janelle Monรกe, snuggled up for a chat. And Care Failure and Anthony Bleed of punk trio, Die Mannequin, told us what they think about art and revolution.
Mike P, drummer for Janelle Monae LS: So good to meet you! So you’re the really friendly drummer of Janelle Monáe and Big Boi and… MP: Don’t say that too loudly. People think I’m mean. LS: People think you’re mean? Really? MP: Yeah. And I love it. LS: Right, that’s what the goggles are for. Right. MP: Right. LS: Grrrrrrr! I wear goggles! F@*# you! (Laughter.) So how’d you hook up with Janelle as a drummer? MP: Well I had a few friends who recommended me to her, and her last drummer recommended me to her. And I came and it’s just been that way for the last year and a half. LS: The chemistry was there. MP: Yeah it was just a really good vibe. The people are wonderful. I came in and just fit right in so it was cool. It was cool. LS: Tell me your top three most memorable shows playing with her, and why. MP: Um, David Letterman. LS: I saw that on YouTube. F@*#ing amazing. MP: That was most memorable first because it was David Letterman but also, I didn’t know that they keep it 40 degrees [4 degrees Celsius] in the studio. So we’re literally freezing during that performance. LS: So you played your heart out to keep warm! (Laughter.) MP: To keep warm, exactly, exactly. The second one would probably be
Madison Square Gardens opening for Prince. Man, you know what, I was up there on the stage, and it was the stage designed as Prince’s logo, and I just felt like I was in a DVD. That was just so unreal to me. And probably my third favorite show is going to be this one tonight. LS: Yeah, why? MP: There’s a great energy here. Every time we come to Toronto. Toronto is just a lovely city. There’s always great energy here. We always have the best shows here. LS: That’s sweet. I’m so glad we’re in your top three. Even though you’re just saying that. MP: No, trust me, I’m not. The last time we were here, we did a show opening for Arcade Fire on the Island - It was crazy. It was crazy. We love Toronto! LS: How does the writing process work? Do you contribute the drum parts? MP: Occasionally. Janelle’s very open to input. It’s a free environment. I love to work with them because everybody is very open, and loves accepting ideas from everyone. She does a lot of the writing, but that’s because a lot of things come to her at weird times and weird places, dreams sometimes. She’ll be in the middle of talking to you and just have to step away and write. It’s one of those things where we just kinda take everything as it comes. We try not to put too much pressure, too much form on it. LS: No rules. MP: Ya, whatever comes, just let it come and if it’s great, let it be that. LS: So this issue of Burner is themed “The Revolutionaries”. And I think you guys totally fit that bill. I haven’t been excited by a mainstream artist in many years and you guys truly excite me. You did a concept album at a time when people say you can’t do concept albums, because the industry is dead.
You based it on the revolutionary Metropolis, among my favourite films. The genres you include on the album span musical history. And I’ve heard rumours that the next album, the one you’re currently writing, is being specifically inspired by the revolutionary. So obviously, I have to ask you about this. I’m sure there’s a lot that’s top secret, but can you say anything about the revolutionary? What that means to you? Anything about the new album at all, about that theme in the new album? MP: Um, I’m trying to figure out how I can do this without getting into trouble. To me, the revolutionary is that person who, without any reservations, is completely, completely in the zone in whatever it is that they’re trying to do. To me, when you just completely zone out, you just completely let yourself go into whatever it is you’re doing, you are able to become a revolutionary. There are no rules. There are no boundaries. As a drummer, there are times when I can just zone out. I don’t know anybody’s around. I don’t think about any equipment, anything breaking, I don’t think about anything, I’m just completely in the zone. It’s in that moment where you’re able to do some very revolutionary things. And I don’t think there are certain people who are revolutionary and others who aren’t. Everybody has the opportunity to be a revolutionary. LS: You just gotta plug into it. MP: You just gotta take it there. No inhibitions. LS: What does art mean to you? MP: Art. Art is life. Art is life. LS: I saw your Twitter profile. The beat of a drum is the heartbeat of my life. Yeah. MP: That’s art to me. It’s life. Your experiences paint a portrait of your life. And it’s just that. As long as you embrace it, as long as you can accept the good, the bad, you know, the
happy, the sad, it’s life, you know. And it’s beautiful. It’s all beautiful. Everything is beautiful. LS: Even the ugly. MP: Exactly. It serves its purposes. You always learn from it. It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. LS: I hear you. Do you think everyone is an artist? MP: Yes. Everyone. I look at the world and the universe as a landscape. And everybody is a colour. Everybody is a light. Everybody is a texture. LS: I love your philosophy. That’s beautiful. MP: Thank you. LS: Do you think that sometimes people, um, distort their colour or distort their light? MP: I think people do when you don’t understand who you are and where you’re going. Who you affect with your decisions. I think people tend to do that to fit in or to try to appear a certain way. People definitely distort. Even that serves its purposes. It helps certain people in their own decisions. It all works. It all serves its purposes. LS: I love your philosophy, man. MP: Thank you. *** (The entire interview was conducted while we hugged. Seriously. Can all interviews be this full of love and beauty? Talk about starting a peace revolution…)
Care Failure & Anthony Bleed, Die Mannequin LS: Easy question first. What does art mean to you? What is art? CF: Oh my god that’s the worst… AB: That’s easy?! CF: And I went to art school too and it’s always what is art? An expression. I know it’s really cheesy but… AB: Self-expression, yeah. Self-expression in any form possible… CF: From spitting on walls to a happy dance to swimming. LS: Is everyone an artist? CF: Yeah, in a cheesy way, everyone’s an artist in a cheesy way. It’s what I’d like to think in my head even if they sell mortgages or bake cakes, there’s an art to everything. AB: There’s an art to everything. I think everyone can be an artist. LS: Everyone can be an artist, but do you think everyone… AB: Is? LS: Is plugged into their potential inner artist? BOTH: NO. No. AB: The world would be a lot less boring of a place if everyone were tapped into their potential. That’s a cool concept. CF: Yes. Everyone operating at more than 10% of their brainpower. AB: If there was a switch that we could flip that turns the whole world’s potential on. What would happen to this room right now? It would probably go bonkers. Bananas. LS: What does The Revolutionary mean to you? CF: A new idea, the first one to do something… AB: Someone who’s willing to take a risk to make a big ass change in whatever environment or world… CF: Even if they don’t make a change, just the idea of a different way of thinking… AB: Introducing something that hasn’t been done, there’s always a risk in that, going against the grain. ***
Shad LS: What does art meant to you? Shad: Art is creative self-expression. LS: Is everybody an artist? Shad: Everybody is creative. That’s an innately human characteristic. The very nature of problem solving is creative. I think when you’re talking about art usually you’re talking about something a little bit different. I can definitely say everybody is creative. LS: What do we need for a peace revolution? Shad: We need a lot. There’s a lot to change, a lot to unlearn. All the basic principles that underlie how our society functions that we’ve come to take for granted and even some things we assume are human nature, but really they’re cultural values that we’ve inherited. We haven’t even necessarily accepted them as our own; we’ve inherited them. A peace revolution would take really questioning some things that are at the foundation of how this whole thing works. It goes outside the scope of a lot of the discussions that happen, that are left wing, right wing, whatever, it’s outside of that, it’s underneath that. LS: I always ask the question – why are our world markets fuelled by fear or greed? Why is anything fuelled by fear or greed, let alone world markets? Shad: Yeah, we need to really entertain those questions and actually think about them. Getting to that takes a lot too. That’s even a further step. For people to start asking, Can we live with a different economic system? Can we live without nation states? Those are questions we aren’t going to ask seriously until there are other things like education, responsible journalism, all that stuff. We’re still a few steps from even getting to those questions. LS: Do you think artists play a role in helping people get to those questions? Shad: Yeah, artists can because we don’t have responsibility to anybody for what we say, so we can speak our minds. We’re basically people who don’t know anything, definitely don’t know
everything, in some cases don’t know anything, but we have a platform, and we can speak our minds without having to answer to an organization, government, corporation. If an artist is particularly gifted and in touch with something, they can speak to a future or to some revolutionary ideas and make people feel them, not just understand them, but really feel them. LS: Tell me about I’ll Never Understand and a bit about the country of a thousand hills (Rwanda). Shad: That song really started with and is centered around my Mom’s poetry. It’s a poem I heard her recite at a memorial event that we had in my hometown and I thought it was beautiful. I thought it was poignant and real and personal and spoke not only to her experience but also to bigger issues, like we’re talking about a peace revolution, and she’s talking about forgiveness on a personal level. If I can sidetrack for a second, I read this amazing war story where this guy is talking about growing up in a small town in Minnesota. He went to college, graduated magnum cum laude, had a full ride to Harvard, was working that summer and it was 1968, he got his draft letter in the mail. He had to decide whether to go to war. He was philosophically against it, but what are you going to do? So one day he broke down and started driving north for Canada. He’s in a boat with an old man about 10 feet away from the shore, the border, and he just couldn’t go. It was the right thing to do, but he couldn’t disappoint his parents. It really made me think about how hard peace is. Here’s a kid who’s philosophically opposed to this. I’m going to have to kill; I might get killed, but at the end of the day I’m twenty and I don’t know anything beyond making my parents happy and the people in my town. That’s how hard peace is. So back to my Mom’s poem, she’s talking about, just on a personal level, how you find peace for yourself and how you find peace between two people is very difficult. LS: There’s a saying by a yogi - if you want to know why there’s violence in the world, find out why there’s anger in yourself. Shad: That’s it. That’s all it is.
Lluís Barba, ‘Travellers in the time’ The Presence of Memory, Salvador Dalí
Andrew Abbott was born in Nova Scotia in 1979, but he is probably staying on the couch of a friend somewhere far from there right now. There are instructions on how to recieve free art from him at his website.....(ALLABBOTT.COM). He wishes to thank Burner Magazine too. Tara Aghdashloo’s first and last love is writing; from poetry to short stories to non-fiction. She now flirts with broadcast reporting, contributes to BBC Persian, and freelances for other news and literary publications. Her book of poetry, in Persian, comes out in June. She’s into politics, art, and playing dress-up. J.W. Banner comes from the Pinelands of South Jersey, lives in Texas, and is working on his MFA at Eastern Kentucky University. Lluís Barba lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. He studied at the High School of Art and Design Llotja, the School Massana Center of Art UAB and University of Barcelona, Spain. Jonahs Coel: He is the flower-eater; he took our colors with a fisherman’s net. He’s flying or falling now, down from the moon with its nightlight residue on his shiny pink teeth. Leanne Davies has shown in the Netherlands, France, the UK and Canada with her silky portraits and otherworldly landscapes which draw from surrealism, pop romanticism and personal memory. She has traveled to Marnay-sur-Seine and Vermont for artist residencies, and continues to produce work that fits in between
reality and somewhere else. www.leannedavies.com Daydream is the former bass player for Deseret. She's got a MFA, a BA & a phony Disturbing the Peace charge. Her work has appeared in newspapers, A Muse Gallery, The Great Shakedown & various indie films. Forthcoming album "Royal Tease". Terence Dew is influenced by artists Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson and Rickey Laurentiis, and has sought means by which express the untold mystery of naturalism. His goal is to spread his works and portray, with due justice, the joys of the “Here and Now”. Pity saves no one. Fabrizio Filippo is a film, TV, stage actor, writer, director. Julia Forrest is a Brooklyn based artist. She works mostly in film and prints all images herself in a darkroom built within her tiny apartment. Her own art has always been top priority in life and in this digital world, she will continue to work with old processing. Anything can simply be done in photoshop, she prefers to take the camera, a tool of showing reality, and experiment with what she can do in front of the lens. She creates surreal environments, tricking the camera into what it sees. Victoria Hetherington lives and writes in Toronto. Her writing has appeared in The Waterhouse Review, Broken Pencil, The Toronto Quarterly, Metazen, The Puritan, The Hart House Review, and the Trinity Review.
Nicholas Hess is an almost twenty year old from Charleston, WV. He is studying philosophy at West Virginia University and hopes to graduate on time, though this seems unlikely. Poetry, once his main shtick, is now like an old dream. He currently resides in Morgantown, WV. CJ Hungerman is originally from Pittsburgh. He attended West Liberty State College and West Virgina University. Upon completion of each undergraduate college he received a B.S. in Graphic Design and a B.F.A. in Painting, respectively. CJ went on to graduate school at Northern Illinois University receiving his Masters in Painting studying under Gordon Dorn, Josh Kind, and Ben Mahmoud. Will Johnson is a journalist from Vancouver, BC. His work has appeared in The Fiddlehead, OCW Magazine, Island Writer and This Side of West. Check out his blog at www.goodwilljohnson.com or follow him on Twitter @GoodWillJohnson Nancy Ryan Keeling is a Diet Coke freak. Hitchhiking through life on lies & caffeine has been a calamitous journey & she’s covered with proud scars from it. During her life in Itazuke, Japan, she began an affair with photography. Once it snowed tumbleweeds—that’s when she learned to always carry a loaded camera! Ben Ladouceur has been a featured reader for Ottawa VERSeFest, the Tree Reading Series (University Night) and the In/Words Reading Series. Recent chapbooks include Alert (Angel House Press), The Argossey (Apt. 9)
and Lime Kiln Quay Road (above/ ground). Scott Laudati is trying to quit cigarettes, but his drinking habit makes it impossible. He is the singer of the band NO. Their album can be downloaded at imeanNO.bandcamp.com. He makes punk music and constantly listens to Bright Eyes. He currently lives in a Baltimore squat with his band and dog, Satine. Lindsey Lee is an Austin, Texas based photographer specializing in evoking rebellion and youth into her audiences. Her work has been featured in Shoot For Your Life!, Urban Outfitters, DisFUNKshion, and her own book "I Shot 7 Girls and a Boy." Jenny Love currently lives and works in Columbia, MO, where she continues to write poetry. In 2009, she graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a BA in Art History/English/Communication. Her writing stems from personal life experiences and her passion for life. More of her poems can be found at tanglesoflove.tumblr.com Anthony Mason (Born June 30, 1982 in Preston, United Kingdom) "has in his possession a very well designed brevity for long narrative poetry, of metaphysics, time, fantasy and physical ‘truth’ and sensual longing.” He has published two collaborative books of art and poetry with well known artists Karena Karras and Bernard Dumaine and has had his work showcased alongside 50 of the best surreal artists in the Negoist New Art collection - Imagine The Imagination.
John McCarthy is an Undergrad at Benedictine University at Springfield. He spends his time running cross country and encourages people to live life free of television. He currently serves as an Editorial Assistant for Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public Radio Program. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ghost Ocean Magazine, Haiku Page, and The Aquila Review. Paul e McCullough is an undergraduate at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Perhaps more importantly, he is a rabid egotist (hence the “e”) who excels at creating self-referential work, especially when framed in the third person. After college, he hopes to g-g-get money. Peter McNestry was born in Dublin Ireland. Peter is inspired by dirty bars, old hotels and boarded up fun houses that have long been forgotten. He currently is based just outside Brisbane Australia and is constantly being inspired through the joys of travel. He likes Miles Davis, Odd Future, Lenny Bruce and Weldon Kees. Sam D. Church II is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta's secondary education program. He has previously been published with L'attitude 53, Toucan Literary Journal, and Touch Poetry. When he is not writing and challenging the dominant paradigm, he likes to draw and play guitar. J.D. Mitchell-Lumsden co-edits Erg’s chapbook series and Cricket Online Review. His poems have recently appeared, or are forthcoming, in Rem Magazine, The Journal (UK), Otoliths, Psychic Meatloaf, L.E.S. Review, Raft, Decanto, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Iowa City. Arielle Nelson is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Roosevelt University, and is the editor-in-chief of the university’s
national literary magazine, Oyez Review. She loves rats, cats, and all furry animals – even honey badgers. Her most recent work has appeared in Pyrta and Ghost Ocean Magazine. Fraser Nelund's poetry can also be found in Rogue Stimulus The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament, Ampersand, and in issue two of Burner Magazine. Sometimes he is too pithy for his own good. Leigh Phillips is an Assistant Professor of English at Hostos Community College with the City University of New York. Her stories, memoirs, poems and criticism appear in Mad Hatters' Review, So To Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, Paterson Literary Review, and The Prose Poetry Project. She has one poetry manuscript, Naked in the Heartbreak House, and she is currently writing an epistolary novel in verse entitled Leaving Flagstaff. Madeline Phillips was born in Mississippi and raised in central Arkansas, where she currently resides. As a second-time contributor to Burner Magazine, she now officially considers herself a Burner Babe. Her work has also recently appeared in The Oral Tradition and Ellipsis…Literature and Art. She thanks you for reading her poem. The dreaded three line, third person bio. James D Quinton hasn't got much to say, except that he has some books out and, like everyone else, a website: www.jamesdquinton.co.uk Charles Rammelkamp edits The Potomac, an online literary journal – http:// thepotomacjournal.com. In 2012, Time Being Books will publish his poetry collection, Fusen Bakudan. A chapbook of poetry called Mixed Signals is also going to published by MuscleHead Press in the near future.
Carla Rasmussen is a self disiplined, mixed media artist . After many years spent behind the black and grey of a pencil, she decided to venture into the world of acrylics and has never looked back. Inspired by music ranging from Tom Waits to Leonard Cohen ,her artwork is evolving and adapting at every turn. Francis Raven’s books include Architectonic Conjectures (Silenced Press, 2010), Provisions (Interbirth, 2009), 5-Haifun: Of Being Divisible (Blue Lion Books, 2008), Shifting the Question More Complicated (Otoliths, 2007), Taste: Gastronomic Poems (Blazevox 2005) and the novel, Inverted Curvatures (Spuyten Duyvil, 2005). CS Reid’s work has appeared in Shadowtrain, Blue Fifth Review, Apt, and Monkeybicycle; chapbooks, Walking Near the Precipice (Lily Press, 2007) and Intonations Heard in the Desert (Gold Wake Press, 2008). She is a freelance writer, educator, and composer/musician in Los Angeles, CA. Jon Renzella lives in Taichung, Taiwan, where he splits his time between carving wood, running the nonprofit Lei Gallery, apprenticing at Diao Yue Tattoo, and trying not to be undone by the subtle tonalities of Mandarin Chinese. He received his BFA in printmaking from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. www.jrenzella.com C. R. Resetarits’ most recent poetry will appear in Women’s Quarterly Review, Able Muse, Front Range, and Ruminate; new fiction in Avery 7 and Broome Review. She splits her time between the High Plains of West Texas and the hollows and hills of the Hudson Valley. Julia Roven is a young photographer from Houston, Texas. Julia studied art history and photography as an undergraduate student in Austin, Texas. Roven's work paints a picture of the life of a young person. Her
portraits capture the raw emotion of a beautiful moment in time. Nadja Sayej is an award-winning journalist, web-TV host, reporter and internationallyacclaimed art critic who runs her own shitdisturbing web-TV show, ArtStars*. In a nobullshit, balls-out Gonzo style, she has interviewed Peaches onstage, walked in on a Bruce LaBruce photoshoot, and chased Gilbert & George down the street. A relentless innovator, leader and purveyor of new art criticism, she spent five years writing for the Globe and Mail before moving to Berlin in 2010. She now writes for the New York Times and explores European art scenes. Dawn Schout’s poetry has appeared in Breadcrumb Scabs, Down in the Dirt, Fogged Clarity, Foliate Oak Literary Journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Midwest Literary Magazine, Muscle & Blood Literary Journal, Poetry Quarterly, The Centrifugal Eye, Tipton Poetry Journal, and over a dozen other publications. She lives near Lake Michigan. Aisling Smith is a Melbourne writer with an honours degree in English Literature. She lives in a world of words. Professor Emeritus of English at Ohio Northern University, Claude Clayton Smith is the author of seven books of fiction and nonfiction and co-editor/translator of an eighth. His work has been translated into five languages, including Chinese. He is a graduate of the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Timothy Snediker lives in Conway, AR. He is made of stars and fingers of whiskey. Cheryl Stevens is a Toronto based cyclist living downtown. And gets by with a little help from her friends.
Thomas Sullivan’s writing has appeared in The Montreal Review and 3AM Magazine, among others. He is the author of Life In The Slow Lane, a memoir about teaching driver education for a cut-rate company in Oregon. For information on this title (published by Uncial Press), please visit http://thomassullivanhumor.com. Sunnylyn Thibodeaux is best described as a “New Orleans poet stranded in San Francisco.” She received her M.A. from New College of California in 2001 and is the author of Palm to Pine (Bootstrap Press, 2011). Her poems have been published in Amerarcana, Back Room Live, Big Bridge, Big Bell, Generación, Greetings: Everyday Magic, Nevada State Line, Morning Train, Polis: Resistance, and Try!. Small books include 20/20 Yielding (Blue Press, 2005), Hidden Driveways Ahead (forthcoming), Room Service Calls (Lew Gallery, 2009) and United Untied (Private Edition, 2008). She co-edits Auguste Press and Lew Gallery Editions. A high school teacher in Hillsborough County, Florida, Clinton Van Inman is 65 and a graduate of San Diego State University. He was born in Walton on Thames, England. Recent publications include Down in the Dirt, The Inquistion, The Journal, the New Writing, The Hudson Review, Essence, Forge, Houston Literary Review, Greensilk Journal Northwest Spirits Magazine. Online publications in BlackCatPoems, Munyari.com, Cynic Magazine, IZ, to name a few. Hopefully these poems will eventually be published in a book called, “One Last Beat” as he considers himself one of the last Beats standing. Peter VanderGrient is a urban based visual artist with a passion for photography. Lauren Wells is a Creative Writing student at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. After
studying in London, she is currently in Australia working on a book of poetry. When she's not listening to Duran Duran, she's scribbling down overheard conversations or sifting through the hilariously unhealthy amount of squirrel photos her friends send her. Samuel Day Wharton has had poems appear recently in Country Music, Horseless Review, New Plains Review, Prime Number, Raft Magazine, & Versal. He is the editor of the online poetry journal Sawbuck. As one half of the semi-legendary playwriting team Broken Gopher Ink, Michael K. White spent his youth tricking producers into investing their dirty money in his lumbering plays. Incredibly this led to forty play productions, including fifteen offBroadway runs that cloaked the author with a bogus literary credibility he misuses to this day. His mega monologue play, "My Heart And the Real World" ran for almost two years in New York City. In 2007 his story “13 Halloweens” was chosen as one of the ten best stories published in 2006 by the super cool folks at Story South. In 2010 "My Apartment" a "micro-novel" was published by Blueprint Press. Aaron D. Wiegert has a B.A. in English from Iowa State University. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Broken Plate, The Tulane Review, The South Carolina Review and Antique Children Quarterly. Tamsen Wojtanowski is an exhibiting artist living and working in Philadelphia, PA, where she received her MFA from the Tyler School of Art. Her favorite movies include: “Say Anything” and “Goonies”. She is inspired by notions of emotional grandeur, and time spent with her partner and their dogs, Ella and Leroy. See more of her work at www.tamsenwj.com.
Charles Rammelkamp, ‘gorby two’
BURNER the REVOLUTIONARIES issue Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. ISSN 1925-3508